London, Feb 12 (ANI): Rhubarb could hold the key to battling cancer, believe scientists at Sheffield Hallam University.
In the study, scientists found that when baked for 20 minutes, the plant released high levels of cancer-killing chemicals called polyphenols, reports The Daily Express.
Rhubarb has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. Ground roots of the plant are believed to help shrink tumours.
Dr Nikki Jordan-Mahy, of the university's Biomedical Research Centre, said: "Our research has shown that British rhubarb is a potential source of pharmacological agents that may be used to develop new anti-cancer drugs."
The research team used rhubarb grown indoors in candlelight to produce a darker red stem, as it is higher in polyphenols than paler varieties. The team plans to carry out lab tests to see if rhubarb polyphenols can kill a variety of cancer cells taken from patients with leukaemia.
A study published in the journal Food Chemistry shows rhubarb is at its anti-cancer best after 20 minutes in the oven. (ANI)